I am lucky enough to have a very gorgeous 13 year old niece and while all my nieces and nephews are pretty special I have a wee soft spot for this particular girl. You see, like me when I was growing up, the poor girl is surrounded by brothers. She has three brothers and I have four. Neither of us have a sister and she only has one female cousin! So I have a certain amount of empathy for her in this situation and decided she deserved something pretty and feminine. I'm sure she thinks her brothers are great really (as I do too!) but sometimes you just need a little bit of girlishness about the place!
I decided to make her a bag and showed her a number of patterns from different websites and blogs that she could choose from. I love that she chose the Runaround Bag, an Anna Graham pattern. Anna's blog, Noodlehead, was one of the first sewing blogs I read and she has a great range of tutorials and patterns. My very first sewing project, a drawstring backpack, was from one of her tutorials. Her patterns are always so easy to follow and the results are always spot on.
My niece asked for red fabric and because we don't live in the same town I had to shop on my own and just hope that I got it right. It's been a while since I was a 13 year old girl so I was a bit nervous about this part! I picked a pink fabric for the lining which featured red cherries. The red & pink combination ended up looking great and added a bit of brightness and fun to the bag.
I've made quite a few bags but love the extra features of this design which make it really pretty and feminine. The pleats on the front and back of the bag add a bit of interest as does the gathering where the main panels are attached to the straps.
The bag also has an interior pocket and I chose the zippered option so my niece could safely keep her phone and keys without worrying that they might fall out and get lost. A magnetic snap closes the bag. When I first started out sewing I had thought that installing magnetic snaps must be tricky but they are super easy and, in my opinion, a must-have for this type of bag. Like all Noodlehead patterns, this pattern gives clear instructions for installing the snap. If you don't have the pattern and want to install a magnetic snap on another bag Anna has written a really helpful tutorial which can be found here.
The exterior and interior of the bag are sewn together with bias binding which I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with. I still find it a bit fiddly to sew sometimes but love the way it finishes off your sewing and gives it a great completed look.
I'm really happy with the way the bag turned out and, more importantly, so was my niece. I wasn't there when she received it but apparently she gave it a thorough going-over, checking all my sewing out, before declaring it a success. I loved this project and have decided you have to be extra happy when you get the seal of approval from a 13 year old girl!